Larry McCarren: Helping Hands
Packers cornerback Sam Shields intercepts a pass intended for Kansas City wide receiver Jamar Newsome.Photo: Image by Mark Hoffman
Nobody will remember it a month from now, but winning 24-3 is a heckuva a lot better way to end the preseason than the other way around. Much more important than the final score in the long run, however, is the individual performances that could affect the team during the regular season.
Graham Harrell's. A perfect 158.3 QB rating, 3 touchdown drives, converting key 3rd downs and extending plays with his feet, he looked like a real deal NFL quarterback. Don't know if the coaching staff needed to see it but the Packer Nation is certainly resting easier.
Sam Shields': He looked like the rookie sensation he was and not the slumping sophomore of a season ago. He covered, he tackled and he intercepted. Not much left for a corner to and Shields just may have won the "other" corner job over Jarrett Bush and Casey Hayward.
Jarrett Boykin's. The undrafted free agent who was cut by Jacksonville after just a couple days last spring did what he's done all camp - he got open and caught any ball thrown his way. (5 catches for 82 yards and 1 TD. If early reports are accurate, Boykin is still in the running for the final 53 while Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley are not.
Erik Walden's. He came to camp facing a 1 game suspension and with a questionable future in Green Bay. More physical play and another sack later, the question has been answered. Walden looks ready to provide quality depth at outside linebacker.
Don Barclay's. To be honest, in the early going, yours truly thought the backup offensive line (outside of Evan Dietrich-Smith) was a total mess. Yours truly was wrong. A couple of the young guys improved, most notably Barclay. Barclay played a solid right tackle in the Kansas City game and is now a legitimate threat to make the final 53. I still have some doubts about his regular season readiness however, and would come as no surprise if the Packers are scouring the waiver wire for a backup tackle.
Jermichael Finley's. His bottom line read 1 catch for 27 yards but that 1 catch spoke volumes. Down the middle, up and over a defender, third down converted. If Finley plays up to his potential, a dangerous offense becomes lethal.
Alex Green's. All the talk about Cedric Benson doesn't minimize the intriguing potential of Green. He ran for 1 TD, took a screen pass in for another, and could offer the Packers a productive change of pace in their offensive backfield.